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IIT Madras Launches Dual-Degree in Semiconductors

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) is partnering with United States-based Purdue University to jointly develop a dual-degree programme in semiconductors. The two institutions will also cooperate in education and research in the areas of semiconductors and microelectronics. According to a statement by IIT-Madras, a Letter of Intent towards this collaboration was signed earlier this week.

India’s semiconductor mission looks at the large-scale development of microelectronics products and the joint initiative will work to augment quality human resource development efforts in semiconductor electronics.

The proposed dual-degree programme will focus on an innovative, cooperatively developed curriculum to meet the growing needs of the industry. Undergraduate students with strong academic credentials and a deep interest in semiconductor devices, chip fabrication, and circuits and systems will be candidates for the proposed master’s programme. This will enable a quick ramp-up of skilled talent, preparing the next generation of the semiconductor workforce, the statement said.

The partnership would also entail research collaboration in semiconductor supply-chain management, chip design, packaging, system architecture, and advanced manufacturing methods. A key outcome envisaged from this unique partnership includes a workforce prepared to tackle global challenges arising from increased needs for microelectronics and shifting manufacturing trends. Other envisioned outcomes include the exchange of faculty and research scholars and collaborative research and discovery, learning and teaching, and engagement.

A professor from the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT-Madras explained that the institute is home to world-class faculties for semiconductors, including electronic devices, circuits, and systems. The dual-degree programme in semiconductors will give students a solid foundation in these areas, while also giving them the freedom and flexibility to specialise in their chosen area of interest. It is also expected to open new avenues for collaboration in research and teaching between IIT-Madras and Purdue University.

An industry expert stated that the semiconductor industry around the world is facing a shortage of talent. IIT-Madras and Purdue University are implementing the master’s programme to address this gap by enhancing the best human and curricular resources and leveraging each other’s complementary strengths.

Over the last few years, the Indian government has been focused on building India’s semiconductor ecosystem, which has helped boost electronics manufacturing and innovation. As a result of several public initiatives, the domestic production of electronic goods increased substantially from US$ 37 billion in 2015-16 to US$ 74.7 billion in 2020-21, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9%, as OpenGov Asia reported.

Policies to support growth include the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes, the Scheme for the Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), and the Modified Electronics Manufacturing Cluster (EMC 2.0).

In July, the country’s Prime Minister approved the Semicon India programme. It has a total outlay of IN 76,000 crores (US$ 9.2 billion) to develop the semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem. It will financially support companies investing in semiconductors, display manufacturing, and design. The government expects this to increase the country’s presence in global electronics value chains.

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